Career Training Thrives in CTE Classes

Sparks fly as senior Moises Smith welds in class during 6th and 7th period on weekdays.

Sara Geiger, Staff Writer

From frosting cookies to welding a horseshoe, Kingwood Park offers many opportunities for students to learn new skills. However, not all are on campus. Off-campus courses, such as culinary arts, pharmacy tech, cosmetology and welding offer students valuable skills and certifications they can utilize in the job force.

Junior Izzy Hargrave is in the culinary arts program held at Summer Creek High School. She plans to use the skills she’s learning in the class as she pursues a career as a professional chef. Hargrave said Chef Daniella Jenkins, the head of the class, is very passionate about preparing her students for the reality of the food industry.

“Chef puts us in stressful situations because that’s what it will be like in the real world,” Hargrave said.

Hargrave said one of the biggest challenges in the class was preparing the food to Chef Jenkins’ standard. In the end, she agrees the stress leads to a better product.

“It forces me to be patient, take my time and look two times at the recipe before I get started,” Hargrave said.

Prior to beginning any cooking project, the students first get their food-handling permit at the beginning of the school year. The food the class cooks is either for a catering order or a donation to local homeless shelters.

“In my future, I want to help people,” Hargrave said. “Food is something that can help a lot of people.”

Senior Logan Hernandez is in his second year studying pharmacy tech. He looks forward to using his certification to get a job in college to help pay his expenses. Hernandez works at Walgreens four days a week and has class at the Career/Technical Education (CTE) center near Humble High one day a week.

Of his many responsibilities, he said the hardest of all is memorizing the names of the medications.

“There are over 200 different drugs,” Hernandez said. “I have to know their generic and brand names, and their uses.”

For Hernandez, the best part of the class has been all the new friends he was able to make through the program. Students from different schools all over Humble ISD are in the same classroom at the CTE center.

“I got to know everyone really well in Pharmacy Tech 1,” Hernandez said. “It was great to meet new people and make new friends.”

The welding class at Atascocita High School attracts many budding tradesmen. Senior Moises Smith has learned a lot in one semester. The students in William Dobbins’ class learn the basics of welding and how to put metal pieces together.

“It’s different,” Smith said, “It’s not like your normal classes. You learn a skill you can use your whole life.”